Striking the Match

I tend to swing between periods of furious writing and droughts mainly fueled by two things: a rush of self-doubt or loss of confidence (no one is going to want to read this anyway, boohoo!) and, well, distractions.

What I really need is a fire lit under my you-know-what. This is usually achieved when I see a new review or get positive feedback (they like it, they really like it!)

Rest assured, I finally did sit down to work on revising my draft of The Prophecy just this evening. (By the way, here is something I’ve noticed in my work as well as that by other indie authors: we are booklovers, and as such, we delight in writing protagonists who are booklovers as well. Here’s a tidbit from the chapter I worked on tonight: “He had underestimated my appetite for reading when I had nothing but time on my hands and an urgent need to keep my mind off of my own all too real troubles.”)

So consider the flames fanned beneath my butt. I certainly hope to get more editing work done tomorrow.

In the meantime, before heading to bed, allow me a moment to expound upon the aforementioned distractions.

Besides the full time job and two lovely little boys, I’ve also still been working on training this pretty baby:

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Miss Maya (aka Peakes Brook Night Prowler!)

She’s a smartie and picks up commands pretty easily, but she’s also a puppy and therefore sometimes kind of batcrap CRAZY. (Batcrap. Never used that phrase before, but it has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?) She is bell-trained, meaning that she rings bells hanging from the doorknob when she has to go out to do her business. She has been doing this for a month or so now. However, today she realized she could ring the bell any time of day, all day, over and over again, just because she wanted to enjoy the great outdoors. And of course you don’t want to call her bluff at the wrong time. So yeah, there was a lot of in and out and in and out today.

The other main distraction was, as usual, a video game.

Since my last post I have played one more chapter in the Life is Strange story. It’s still a lot of fun, but I do have one complaint. The character you play, Max, is an eighteen year old girl, who reunites with her childhood best friend, Chloe. I give the game props for allowing what seems to be the possibility of a romance between these two female characters. However…Chloe treats Max like crap!

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I realize the situations that arise are designed to force the player to make choices that somewhat alter how future scenes in the game play out, but some of them leave a bad taste in my mouth. There is a huge movement of players who “ship” Max and Chloe, a prospect which quite honestly makes me cringe.

Some examples: Chloe gets caught with marijuana and tries to pin it on Max. You, playing as Max, can either take the blame or deny it. If you tell the truth (it’s Chloe’s weed), the rest of the game is littered with digs from Chloe for throwing HER under the bus. At another point in the game, Max and Chloe are at a diner when Max’s phone rings. The call is from a classmate who is being bullied and has been showing signs of severe depression. Chloe tries to dissuade Max from answering the phone, saying, “I thought you were here to hang out with me, not to talk to her.”

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Chloe Price from Life is Strange

Chloe is a fun character in that she adds an interesting facet to the story, but her relationship with Max, even when they’re just friends, SCREAMS “unhealthy and emotionally abusive” to me.

But wait, that’s not even the game that has been ruling my life lately! That honor goes to the Game of Thrones episodic adventure by telltale games.

This is fun. A lot of fun. There is so much about the story and characters that I love. The first episode was released in December, but I only jumped on the bandwagon a few days ago. I tore through episodes 1, 2 and 3. Lucky for me, episode 4 was just released today (and yes, it’s finished already). Sadly, I probably now have about 6 weeks to wait before the 5th and penultimate episode.

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Mira Forrester is handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell

So I love love love playing this game…BUT (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)

I started reading George R.R.Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series years ago, when the fourth book in the series had just been released. I read through them all in short order, then had another 5 or 6 years to wait for the next book. In the meantime, the TV show came about, and I enjoy that a lot as well.

The game fits in with the show, even with the same actors providing voices for their characters, and it begins the night of the Red Wedding (you know, when Robb and Catlyn Stark…you know). You get to play as several members of House Forrester, a family mentioned in passing in the books. Telltale gets the feel of Game of Thrones just right, which is amazing. However, this means the game has also inherited the same pitfalls as the book and TV show. Namely, an overwhelming sense of futility because EVERYTHING BAD THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN CAN AND WILL BEFALL ANY CHARACTER YOU CARE ABOUT.

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Ramsay Snow. Er, I mean Bolton! Lord Bolton!

Any time things start to look up for someone, anyone, you know things are about to get real ugly real fast. The problem with this being true in the game is that it takes away some of the fun of playing as the characters, knowing that whichever choices you make, terrible consequences are going to befall them no matter what. Do what you will in the game, everyone’s pretty much f****d anyway.

I still love this game. A lot. It just also drives me to drink, weeping into my glass as I drain it.

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Talia and Rodrick Forrester

Anyway. Thanks for letting me rave and rant for a bit. Now, as promised, I have work to do on The Prophecy!

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